By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – “You want to hold fiestas, get vaccinated first.”
Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz gave this advice when asked if local government units in the province are now allowed to hold religious fiestas with the improving COVID-19 situation in the province.
As of March 14, 2022, active COVID-19 cases in the province are down to only 65.
Despite the improving situation, Negros Occidental is expected to remain under Alert Level 2 status as the province has yet to reach Department of Health’s (DOH) required vaccination threshold of above 70 percent target for the general population and 80 percent senior citizen coverage to be downgraded to Alert Level 1.
“Level 2 pa ta, basi alang-alang. We need to cooperate with one another, that is why ang aton mga senior citizens magpabakuna na,” Diaz said.
While they will not force people to get vaccinated, Diaz said that if they neglect the vaccination campaign and at the same time the province is downgraded to Alert Level 1, it may again worsen the province’s situation.
According to DOH Western Visayas’ Center for Health Development, as of March 13 Negros Occidental has fully vaccinated 58.39 percent of the target population.
Fully-vaccinated senior citizens in the province is at 55.28 percent.